coal

Politics
3:29 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Challenging Eastern Kentucky Leaders, Ag Commissioner James Comer Says It's Time to Look Beyond Coal

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer
Credit File photo

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is challenging leaders in eastern Kentucky to accept the decline of coal production and invest in a new economy to help pull the region out of poverty.

"A lot of leaders in Eastern Kentucky keep talking about ‘coal is the answer and there is a war on coal.’ I’m a friend of coal. I support the coal industry. But the coal industry’s future doesn't look bright and we have to look beyond that and learn to develop a new economy in Eastern Kentucky," he says.

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Environment
10:00 am
Wed November 13, 2013

LG&E Agrees to Pay $113,000 for Coal Ash, Odor Violations at Cane Run Plant

The smokestacks at LG&E's coal-fired Cane Run power plant.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Louisville Gas and Electric and the Air Pollution Control District have reached an agreement over violations at the company’s Cane Run Power Station. Under the deal, LG&E will pay $113,250 to the Air Pollution Control District, as well as continue implementing a compliance plan at Cane Run to prevent future violations.

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Environment
4:13 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

'Breathless and Burdened' Series Details Challenges Faced by Coal Miners Filing Black Lung Claims

A miner at the black lung laboratory in the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia, is having his lung capacity tested to determine whether he has the disease in 1970.
Jack Corn Environmental Protection Agency

For coal miners who believe they have debilitating black lung disease, filing a claim is a lengthy process. It’s one that’s also often futile. Only about 14 percent of claims led to an award during the 2012 fiscal year, and after appeals, that number is likely even lower.

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Environment
5:00 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Kentucky Regulators Want Flexibility in Carbon Rules for Existing Power Plants

Erica Peterson WFPL

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions—like carbon dioxide –from existing power plants next June. But Kentucky regulators are preemptively trying to influence the agency’s decision-making.

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Environment
4:24 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Report Says Most of the U.S.'s Coal Won't Be Profitable to Mine

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

A new report says the amount of coal that’s economically recoverable in the United States has been vastly overblown. The report’s authors say public data shows that the supply has peaked in most of the country’s coal-producing states, including Kentucky.

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Environment
3:09 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

McConnell Urges TVA to Keep Burning Coal at Kentucky Power Plant

The Paradise Fossil Plant
Tennesee Valley Authority

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling on the Tennessee Valley Authority to keep burning coal at a Kentucky power plant.

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Environment
7:30 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Two Utilities Announce Move Away from Central Appalachian Coal

Erica Peterson WFPL

Eastern Kentucky’s coalfields are struggling…last year, coal production dropped to the lowest level since 1965, as utilities shift toward natural gas. Now, in the wake of news of mass layoffs in Eastern Kentucky’s coalfields, two of the nation’s larger utility companies are essentially pulling out of the region.

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Local News
2:54 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Gas-Fired Power Plant Proposed for Western Kentucky

Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities have announced plans to build a new natural gas powered generating plant in western Kentucky and a smaller, solar-powered station. 

Spokeswoman Chris Whelan says the facility planned for Muhlenberg County will be similar to the generating plant being built at the companies’ Cane Run site in Jefferson County.

"It will be 700 megawatts, roughly $700 million to construct," Whelan said.

"And then we’re also proposing we will build a 10 megawatt solar facility at one of our existing sites."

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Environment
4:52 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

University of Kentucky Awarded Federal Grant to Develop Carbon Capture Technology

Erica Peterson WFPL

The University of Kentucky will receive nearly $3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to further develop technologies that can reduce the emission of green house gases from coal-fired power plants. 

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Politics
7:30 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Ky. Environmentalists Want Alison Lundergan Grimes to Address Energy Future Beyond Coal

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes

In Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, environmentalists says there's little to distinguish Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes from Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell on coal.

But activists say what they're most disappointed about is Grimes hasn't outlined an agenda that speaks to the future of Kentucky's economy or the country's energy needs.

Ahead of new federal rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions, the Grimes campaign presented a decidedly pro-coal message by scolding the Obama administration.

When the Environmental Protection Agency released those proposed standards last week, Grimes reiterated her disappointment, saying the regulations were "out of touch" with Kentucky's needs and would hurt middle-class families.

The Grimes campaign told WFPL the first-term secretary of state does acknowledge climate change and the effects carbon emissions have on the planet's weather patterns.

But aides quickly pivoted to emphasize what they call "unnecessary regulations" that hurt Kentuckians who rely on the coal industry to provide for their families.

"While it is important to protect the environment, it is just as important to make sure the men and women of Kentucky are able to provide for their families,"  said Grimes campaign spokeswoman Charly Norton. "As Senator, Alison will work to protect the jobs of hardworking Kentuckians in any solution to the changing climate."

A 2007 Supreme Court ruling found that greenhouse gases created by coal-fired plants are pollutants that are harmful to human health, and are thus subject to regulation.

Longtime Louisville environmental activist Sarah Lynn Cunningham says voters who care about the environment are frustrated with Grimes and that enthusiasm is already declining more than a year before Election Day.

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